How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE


More St. John’s

As we left the Basilica, the rain eased up enough for a few photo opportunities. I ran across the road to capture this colorful display. You can always tell the end of a trip is near. Lunchtime almost upon us, people dragged their feet, spirits dampened as we boarded the bus.


Five minutes into our ride, the heavens opened up again.


Interested parties were dropped off at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery. Mary and I chose to go back to the hotel with the other rained-out party poopers. This is the last time we were to see Peter, our driver. Those visiting the gallery had to make their own way back to the hotel, a fifteen-minute walk but doable.

We decided to relax for a while to avoid the lunch rush and wait out the rain. Eating at the Sheraton bound to be pricier than a small restaurant, we decided to grab our already wet umbrellas and hike out. By one o’clock, drizzle still veiled the horizon, but we braved a walk in search of a suitable eatery. Several quaint places were not in our price range. You’ll never guess where we ended up. Tim Horton’s drew us like a magnet, a familiar place just like home.

The chicken salad sandwiches were served on a croissant here: Mary’s choice. I opted for the whole wheat bun like they serve in Ontario. Wish I hadn’t. The bun stale and too hard, hurt my tender mouth.  A friendly policewoman walked past us in a bright yellow raincoat. She recognized us as visitors and chitchatted for a few minutes: where were we from and the usual.

Afterward, drizzle or not, umbrellas up, we checked out a number of stores on Duckworth Street. There are a lot of restaurants on this one street. Downtown_St._John is attractive and Water_Street is the oldest street in North America.

Mary bought a signature, yellow Sou’wester. What a find! She’d always wanted one. Surprise. Surprise. It wasn’t Newfoundland-made. You guessed it: Made in China. She almost changed her mind against buying it.

During our stroll downtown, I took these on a side street perpendicular to Duckworth.

I bet you want to know how all the bright house colors and thus how  Jellybean Row began. The story goes this happened so fishermen could find their homes in the fog. Francis told us a different tale. If you had paint left over from painting your dorie (yellow), you painted your shed, your house etc. Soon the idea caught on. “If you paint your house blue, I’ll paint mine red.”


A wonderful treat awaited along our way. A shop where they not only sell chocolate but make it, in the Newfoundland Chocolate Company. Of course, Mary had to go inside though she cannot enjoy the smell of chocolate, she still has a taste for it. After a minute, I’d had enough of the sweet heaviness, like the days of too much perfume in previous years. Decisions. Decisions. When I’m not interested, I am fidgety. Mary could not make up her mind what chocolate to buy. To me, it was all too elegant and artistic to eat. Anyway, I don’t have a sweet tooth.


* * *

Next on October 28th–  Tying up loose ends

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


A Quick Update

Dickens is the ginger and Lady Gaga, well, you can guess.

Dickens is the ginger and Lady Gaga, well, you can guess.

Our power went out yesterday and then the internet got snarky. Frustrated, I called it a day. I may not comment on yesterday’s posts as it’s a daily struggle to keep up with the last 12 hours of posts let alone 24. Have I any hair left after yesterday? Read on.

Last week I finished a short two-week course and have two more to complete during the next six weeks. Another beast hungry for my time.

Thank you for your continued support. I hope you understand my exasperation.

P.S.  I wrote a post earlier this morning, but it disappeared. Not only had I fought a spastic page, it scrambled and unscrambled the menu and media bars, ribbons and bars floated over words disallowing access to type, same as last Friday when I posted. At one point, everything disappeared then came back. I saved a draft in a hurry. In the end, it was all for naught. Anyone experience anything like this? I have. Some time ago. It lasted a while and was no more but not this bad.


St. John’s, a University Town

Around 10:30 a.m., we stopped at the Student Building at Smallwood Centre at Memorial University (Read  history here). Umbrellas snapped on we raced to the ladies room. A student flapped soggy socks beneath the hand dryer. Afterwards, she held up her runners. Funniest thing I’ve ever seen. With only one dryer, milling students and the tour ladies women were amused but impatient.


The University Quick Facts:

  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Memorial History
  • Built in shape of horseshoe, but not attached
  • Each has 250 new student apartments
  • Currently over 20,000 students in St. John’s
  • Now largest university in Newfoundland
  • Lots of foreign and Asian students
  • Tuition rates cheapest in the country, including Quebec, and Manitoba is 3rd
  • About 6,000.00 for 2 semesters
  • Rates have been frozen for 14 years
  • Ontario = $7,100
  • 30% jump expected everywhere else
  • Toughest university to get into med school
  • Lots of research
  • Fine arts. Engineering, business, marine studies
  • Ontario and British Columbia much higher tuition
  • 1975 Corner Brook Campus: now Grenville Campus since 2010
  • Campus spread out with room to expand

At one time, students were put up in homes where the mother looked after them like a second mother. As in a lot of university towns, some landlords should be put out of business because of what they offer for accommodations to poor students. These days most Newfoundland and other Canadian students prefer their own apartments instead of sharing with a second or third.

St. John the Baptist Basilica:

  • st-johns-fire-1846.php while church under construction
  • 10,000 Irish Catholics here
  • John’s populations mid-2015 (almost 215,000)
  • Bishop Fleming asked Queen Victoria to give him enough land to build a church
  • She agreed. “Whatever property you can fence in a day.” Post holes dug at night.
  • Named after her favorite saint

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Her own stained glassmaker give 7 stained glass
  • Each window had to be taken apart and put together on arrival
  • Shipped windows in molasses which accentuated some of the colors
  • Others came from England, France and Germany
  • 1905 ceiling inlaid in gold leaf by Connolly Brothers
  • 1955 turned to basilica from a cathedral
  • Visits by popes also make it a basilica (1955 & 1984)
  • The canopy denotes a church / cathedral changed to a basilica
  • Pipe organ has 4050 pipes (largest 16 feet; smallest 3 inches)
  • A younger person now being taught to play this organ
  • Five bishops buried beneath church
  • Lady of Fatima brought by Portuguese sailor and presented to the church
  • Sculpture work done by Newfoundlanders
  • The Veiled Virgin (marble statue)


Revered Dead Christ


The downpour had changed to a fine drizzle. Would it finally let up?

* * *

Next on October 21st –  Out and About in St. John’s

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


Out and About in St. John’s

The previous night we spent at Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, built on the site of Fort William and the most luxurious of the trip. Our first night had been spent at Glynmill Inn, a much older but quaint establishment. A handful of magnificent east coast art decorated the walls in our room, even in the bathroom. The bellman who delivered our bags told my sister she better take care. He guessed her bag at capacity weight, if not already over.

It’s our second last day and the morning greeted us with angry, driving rain. Boarding the bus, we were introduced to our new driver, Pete, who informed us he’s waiting to get his license to drive this tour bus. What a joker. Shawn had left for Gander the night before to return our original bus.

Peter used to work in a paper-mill until five years ago when it shut down. He started our dreary day with this joke:

Sam went to heaven and was startled by all the clocks on the walls. Some moved slowly and some not at all. That’s St. Theresa’s clock; she never told a lie. That’s Abraham Lincolns…

Hey, where’s Stephen Harper’s clock? It’s in God’s office—used as a ceiling fan.

Newman and Company

  • English Winery
  • 1669 ships travelled to Portugal to pick up wine in barrels, returned to refine
  • Attacked by pirates, escaped
  • Escaped during storm
  • Made way to St. John’s. Could not return to England
  • Excavated caves 20 feet in solid rock to store wine
  • In spring, loaded on ship
  • When began to bottle, found wine superior
  • 1670 to late 1880 went to Portugal, returned with wine, stored in caves several years
  • Returned again to Portugal
  • During WWII, munitions stored in caves
  • Wine caves sealed now
  • Newman Wine Vaults

This is Mile “O” of the Trans-Canada_Highway, where Canada begins!



 I ran out in the pouring rain with a few other adventurous souls to take pictures of this mustard yellow building: Quidi Vidi Brewery. We were interesting in going inside, but it was closed. It would have been a treat to sample some of their famous brew. Not worth getting soaked to the skin but there you have it. I didn’t enjoy this day’s tour in the pelting rain. Lots of info given, but it came too fast and the photos were messy taken from the moving bus.

Terry Fox Monument

  • Moved to current location because people had trouble finding it
  • This is where he dipped his artificial foot into the Atlantic before he started

img_2164 img_2166 img_2163

St. John’s Quick Facts:

  • War Memorial Day in Newfoundland is July 1
  • Newfound dogs are mascots for War Memorial Days
  • The other Memorial Day is November 11th
  • Oldest wooden structure in St. Johns is Mallard Cottage, a restaurant attached to it
  • Penitentiary built 1859
  • 55,000 American troops stationed at Fort Pepperrell from WWII until the 1960s
  • Chimney Smoke Pots: If you see 6 – 8 on a roof, each leads to 6 – 8 open fireplaces

* * *

Next on October 14thSt. John’s, a University Town

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


St. John’s Signal Hill

We finally arrived in St. John’s, the last leg of our tour. Boohoo. Home soon, but not till we see what is on offer. The only entrance to the harbor is through the The_Narrows,_St._Johns which are only 200 feet wide.

Signal Hill

Our bus chugged up the steep, intimidating hill. I thought we’d roll back any minute. What a surreal feeling! Not a good day for touring 400 feet above sea level. Walking was difficult as the paths, though paved from the parking lot to the Cabot Tower, are also vertical. What a spectacular view. The weather was blustery so the walking was not enjoyable. Other than the view and the inside of the Tower, there wasn’t much to photograph, except the view.

A puddle a defrosted glacier makes

                                                      The puddle a defrosted glacier makes

The name Signal Hill did not come from Marconi. When people started to settle here, the merchants had their own ships. They had a person on the hill watching the flag on the incoming ship. The lookout, then put up a twin flag for everyone to see and set off the cannon. Ships came off Cape Race, dropped a canister with news inside and were paid $5.00.

Cabot Tower

Inside the tower are Marconi exhibits and of course, a bustling gift shop. Who knew? We saw numerous and huge ships in the harbor below.



Marconi sent transmissions at predetermined times near Cabot Tower. The wireless system really worked, but people laughed at him. Even Thomas Edison scoffed at Marconi’s efforts. “It’s interesting, but I don’t think it will have any commercial value,” he said.

Marconi was responsible for saving 705 people on the Titanic (1,500 were lost). He signaled the Carpathia 584 kilometers south of Cape Race / 365 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.


In Bowring_Park, a statue identical to the one in Pickadilly was shipped from England in memory of Sir Edgar Bowring’s granddaughter who drowned with her father.

Quick Facts about St. John’s

  • The Four Sisters of Temperance Street
  • A Canadian Legion Pub has a periscope on the roof from a wrecked ship
  • Pier 17 where Terry Fox put his foot in the water
  • Building new convention center capable of hosting anything and everything
  • Population about 110,000 in St. John’s
  • Huge university, add another 10,000 to 20,000

* * *

 Next on October 7th – Out and About in St. John’s

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


Cape Spear Anyone? Anyone?

Finally, some excitement. Francis forgot to counts heads and the bus crept out of the parking spot from Cape Spear. The driver inched forward with caution as other tourist milled about around and in front of our bus. (Single) Angela from Germany came running up the hill. One worried husband tore down the aisle to the front of the bus. “One minute, Francis. My wife is missing.”


You should have seen our tour guide’s face. Though he’s of a ruddy complexion, he turned the red of a sun-drenched tomato. Angela soon lumbered up the steps breathless, with a lopsided grin on her flushed face. This time, the bus driver piped in. “You thought we’d leave without you, eh?”

The worried husband pointed a finger with relief in his voice. ”There she is.” Thirty pairs of eyes turned to their left—no, more—some wore glasses. The missing woman hobbled up the steep grade waving to the bus. Wait for me. I’m coming. She had turned an ankle in her rush, but not enough for medical attention. As she made her way inside the bus, her husband wiggled a finger at her. Using a stern voice but unable to hide his amusement, he said, “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.” He burst out laughing as did she. The whole bus roared, even Francis.

The woman came this way but towards us

The woman came this way but towards us

Francis then entertained us with a story where he had been left behind in the Dominican Republic. He left the resort in a taxi at 6:00 a.m. wanting to tour in the Catalina Islands. Then he hopped on a bus, then a catamaran, and a paddle wheeler down to a monastery. He was the only English speaking person out of the 60 on the tour. He walked around, took pictures and decided to return to the bus. No bus. Everyone—gone. He walked out to the highway. Waited and waited. Along came a yellow bus with only one seat at the back. Half-asleep, the guy in the next seat pointed to his armband. Francis had a blue one; his seatmate a pink one.

The good Samaritan called to the driver, who figured out Francis was on the wrong bus. He pulled over on the highway and made him get off.

A car came along with some guys inside. “Want help? Want help?”

No, he wasn’t getting into the car but decided to walk. The gist is he came across security guards who could not speak English. A guy came along on a bike. “Trouble, trouble,” he said in English.

Francis saw a car, walked up to the driver and asked, “Where am I?” The guy shook his head.

A small voice in the back asked in good English, “Can I help you, sir?”

Francis could have hugged him. “How far to the resort?

“Three and a half hours.”

“How much to get back to the resort?”

“$90.00 U.S.D.

He finally arrived by 11:00 p.m. All the buses had returned at 5:00 p.m. What a state his wife was in! This story proves how important counting your tour passengers is. After his experience, he always remembered that. Except, this time.


Cape Spear Quick Facts:

  • Glacier once covered this area (see all the loose boulders)
  • 1836, first lighthouse at Cape Spear
  • East coast trail (hikers come from St. John’s, from everywhere)
  • In summer, tour guides have to force people into bus (stop the whale watching)
  • Bunkers from WWII
  • Most easterly point of North America

* * *

Next on September 30 – Signal Hill

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


Is it Real, or is it a Memory?

Hello bloggers, near and far; dear and dearer. I am alive. Yes, this summer is almost over and already sliding into memory. I meant to visit you right after Labor Day, but was sidetracked—I needed to catch my breath. Whew.

The best part is the kids are back in school. Life should get back to normal, whatever that is. I flipped my daily schedule upside down: work first and play later. This means blogging will not happen until the latter part of the day. I cannot be trusted on social media for an hour or two at a time. Twelve hours disappear before I even notice. Poof, the day is lost and I’m wiped. I wonder how long this setup will last. It’s failed before, but I must try.

No, the trees aren't changing yet. This is from last October

No, our trees aren’t changing yet. This is from last October

I managed to do some of what I’d planned this summer and even some I had not. The bottom line is I needed a break from my break. Yeah, I’m a wuss—a shock to me too. Oh, oh. Do I see you rolling your eyes?

I still have a mountain of unread books on my dining-room table, which hasn’t shrunk by much. Sigh. It will take a little time to work my way back and I may not manage to be quite as vigilant as before. I have missed so much of what’s been happening in Blogland and all of you, of course. I feel like a stranger. I will never manage a catch up, but I am on my way back. I hope there’s still a place for me at the coffee table.

Here’s a link I came across this morning. Fits me like a slinky dress. Some of you too, right?

Hugs all around. Mwah.

See you next Friday?